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Steele Creek growth to improve ‘livability’

Charlotte planners want to improve the livability of Steele Creek.

Charlotte’s Community Investment Plan – a long-range, $816 million program – focuses on livability, transportation and job growth. The plan includes money from a fall bond vote and from projected bonds in coming years.

In November, Charlotte voters approved $146 million for public improvements. City Manager Ron Carlee, in a statement following the vote, said the funded projects would create jobs, grow the tax base, and improve public safety and housing diversity.

“The projects will focus on livability, getting around and job growth, which will help make Charlotte a pillar among cities,” Carlee said.

Steele Creek will see a portion of the improvements. An area including Whitehall, Ayrsley, Berewick and other parts of Steele Creek is set for $120 million in neighborhood improvement bonds. The November vote included $20 million. Expected bonds in 2016 and 2018 will ask for $40 million each. A 2020 bond would add another $20 million.

An online description of the project notes the proximity to the Catawba River, Charlotte Douglas International Airport and south Charlotte give the Steele Creek area “a strong set of amenities to build upon.”

Other plans include roadwork such as extending Garrison Road and widening Dixie River Road to promote economic development near the airport.

Garrison Road would cost $31.2 million in 2016 public improvement bonds. It would run west of the airport from Old Dowd Road on the north to Shopton Road on the south. Dixie River Road’s work is a proposed $13.5 million in 2018.

Plans also list the area between I-485 and the lake, just west of the airport, as a corridor investment area.

Growth through recent and future bonds will be a focus of the annual meeting of the Steele Creek Residents Association Feb. 26 at Christ the King Church. Both public and private planning for community growth will be discussed, said association website and online forum manager Dave Wiggins.

Berewick Town Center and the area surrounding Charlotte Premium Outlets will lead development discussions.

“Bob Cook of Charlotte Regional Transportation Planning Organization will give an update on highway plans and Peter Pappas (Pappas Properties) and Chris Thomas (Childress-Klein Properties) will give updates on new commercial development,” Wiggins said.